In this Books Love Me series, I’ll be featuring literature lovers from all over the globe. They will allow us to enter their world of fiction. Join me for an enjoyable tale describing the juicy details of…
Tamason’s Love Affair With Literature
Share a little about yourself!
Books have always been my passion, whether fiction or non-fiction I will pretty much read anything that is put down in front of me, hence, it seemed easy to create a blog with reading in mine. Travelling Book Junkie is a blog that combines my love of reading for my love of travel. I write about books, authors and bookshops around the world whilst also including insights into cultural and historical elements of each area we visit.
Traveling with a bag full of books is never easy, but after struggling with my e-reader for several years I still consider sitting down with a physical book far more relaxing than looking at it on a screen.
Would you describe your love of literature as a torrid affair, a summer romance, or “it’s complicated”?
That’s easy, everyone that knows me could easily answering this question – I have a full-on torrid affair with literature. Not only do I have the largest piles of ‘To be Read’ books I will also seek out famous author locations, go to book signings and look out for unique and unusual bookshops wherever I travel. I have also been known to drag my husband across the country to literary weekends so that I can spend time listening to great authors, find out why they write, try to gain top tips from them for my own writing and finally meet them in person.
Last year, when visited the Harrogate Crime Writing Weekend (UK) my obsession was in full-flight. Where most people would wander the streets and by able to point out famous footballers or TV personalities I sat there painfully pointing out all the authors present in the beer tent to my husband. Not only that, I then approached them to talk more about their work, take photos and get books signed. We were there from 8am until about 9pm most evenings just so I could talk to some of my favourite authors.
I also never go anywhere without a book in my bag – just in case – because you never know when the opportunity to read a few pages may come about.
What book is your childhood sweetheart? Why?
Even as a child to say I had one favourite would be difficult. I would read copiously, often being the first person to get hold of new editions added to the school library. All of the librarians knew me and would keep back new books that they thought I would like. Anything by Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton would be read in a matter of hours; I loved the creativity and would often wonder how they could come up with such unique storylines. Later on I moved on to C.S. Lewis before falling in love with F.H. Burrett and the ‘Secret Garden’ which became a book I returned to time and time again.
What book made you fall in love with reading?
Enid Blyton’s ‘Faraway Tree’ is probably to blame for my book obsession and although my reading style has changed over the years, I still remember haunting my mum to buy me more Enid Blyton books after reading that one. The idea of a topsy-turvy world at the top of a large, old, oak tree captured my imagine. Even today, I wish I could be as creative as some of my favourite childhood writers.
Stream of Consciousness
What is your funniest or favorite “book reading” experience?
My favourite? It’s a bit of a cliché, but I love to curl up on the sofa with a fluffy blanket, a mug of coffee (or red wine depending on the time of day) when the rain is coming down hard outside to read. The sound of the rain on the windows relaxes me.
Who is your literary alter ego?
Not sure I can limit this to just one. I love Ernest Hemingway for his descriptive prose, Jo Nesbo and Stephen King for their ability to scare the hell out of people through their words and Linda La Plante for her personality (we met her last year at Harrogate and to say that she captivated even my husband is not a lie. She was fantastic and it made me re-read several of her novels).
If you could put all of these into a mixing bowl and create something, then I hope that this would resemble the writer I would love to be.
Genre: Literature and Travel
What came first, your love of reading or your love of travel?
Probably reading if I am truthful. It was only after several years and many hundreds of books that I stumbled upon National Geographic or any travel writers. Many inspire my travels today but if I was to wander into a bookshop in order to find a book to loss myself in I always wander through the crime and thriller section before the travel. Having said that, before each trip we take I order copious travel-related books, both fiction and non-fiction, about the area we are visiting.
What book sparked your love of travel?
I am probably going to go against a trend here, I am not a Bill Bryson fan. For me, I read his books and whilst they are funny I also find them offensive at times. I know this is the reaction he is probably hoping for, and is one that many travellers turn to, but I just can’t seem to relate. For me, the one travel book I feel probably sparked my travel obsession was ‘The Road to Oxiana’ by Robert Byron. It is not a book for the faint hearted, and has been referred to the ‘Ulysees’ of the travel world but it was the book that sparked my interest in exploring history around the world.
What are your travel reading habits?
Before travelling anywhere I read at least two to three books on the area (not including guide books). Often this is a mixture of travelogues, fiction, non-fiction, historical and modern tales of the city or country we plan to spend time in. I like to try to understand the culture and history of a place I am visiting. For example, before visiting Berlin I read two books, one from the perspective of someone who use to live in West Germany and the other, from someone who lived in East Germany. I was fascinated by the way that two people, living so close together could have such different upbringing. When we reached Berlin, I could still see some of those elements remaining today although without the oppression.
When travelling, my rucksack is full. Most people pack extra clothes or underwear in their carry-ons, my has a laptop, and several books inside. I always plan to take 4 books for each week of travel. Sounds a lot but I can easily read a book a day – this will be a mixture of travel, crime and thriller and anything else that takes my fancy when book shopping. I get up early to read so that I can still explore during the day, and have been known to still have a reading light on at 2-3am because I just have to finish the book in my hands.
What is your favorite literary travel quote?
There are many great quotes but for me I love Marcel Proust’s, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
If you could get any book quote tattooed on your body, what would it be? Why?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” (By Dr. Seuss)
I think it highlights that everyone is individual, everyone has the opportunity to do what they wish and go where they want. You are the controller of your own destiny.
What do you read when you are stressed out?
Any book that doesn’t make me think too much. I tend to be drawn to a crime fiction novel when I need to unwind. I find them easy to read, and can often read a book in one sitting.
What is the last book you read?
‘The Never List’ by Koethi Zan; if you enjoy psychological thrillers this is a great book. Be warned though, it is a book that involves some thinking if you are going to try to figure things out for yourself.
Are you a book sniffer?
I love the feel and smell of books both old and new, I think that is why I still have such reservations about using my e-reader.
What would the title be of your memoir?
Wow, what a difficult question to answer. I suppose I see memoirs as something others write that have either some importance in the world or something exciting to share – I do see myself falling into either category (not at present anyway!). I would probably use something like – ‘Come explore the world with an indecisive bibliophile’. Why? I always struggle to make decisions, even with something as easy as what to have for dinner, and if I did write a memoir it would undoubtedly be all about my travels and the books I have fallen in love with.
If you could only recommend one book to people for the remainder of your days, which book would it be?
If I only get one choice it would have to be John Fowles ‘The Collector’. I first read this book at university and was hooked by his skilful writing. To be able to capture the attention of the reader with only one character for the majority of a novel is a huge undertaking and one that Fowles does successfully in my opinion.
Thank you Tamason, we appreciate the glimpse into your literary love affair. To read more interviews and get inspired by more book lovers , click here. Don’t be shy, it’s encouraging for the rest of us literature lovers to glean inspiration and wisdom from the journeys of others!
If you have an insatiable love of literature that you wish to share, please email me at aplacelikemeinagirllikethis (at) gmail (dot) com.